Iraq's CPI inflation holds at 2.6% y/y in August

By bne IntelliNews September 18, 2015

Higher housing prices were mitigated by slower food price growth, helping keep Iraq’s CPI inflation unchanged at 2.6% y/y in August, the same as a month earlier, data from the statistics office showed. Slower private consumption post-Ramadan also helped anchor price growth in Iraq during the month.

In monthly terms, the CPI rose 0.7% in August, easing from a 1.0% m/m increase in July.

As to core inflation, which excludes volatile components like food and energy, it accelerated to 1.8% y/y in August from 1.4% y/y the month before on a 0.5% m/m growth.

Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which have a 30% weight in the CPI basket, rose 2.1% m/m in August on unfavorable seasonal factors but the annual growth cooled to 4.3% from 4.9% y/y in July.

Fruits charges grew 8.6% y/y in August, slowing from a 11.2% annual hike a month earlier while those of fresh vegetables increased 7.8% y/y.

Alcohol and tobacco prices grew 2.1% y/y, speeding up from a 1.0% annual rise in July. Prices of sewing clothes services grew 5.4% y/y during the month.

As to housing and utilities charges, they grew 3.3% y/y in August, inching up from 3.0% y/y in July. The index was lifted by higher rent prices (up 3.4% y/y in August compared to 3.1% y/y a month earlier). Transport charges fell 1.7% y/y in August on lower oil prices and high base effect. Telecom prices rose 4.4% y/y and those of education grew 4.7% y/y. 

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